Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Mr.Chadaband delivers a lecture to Jo regarding ___________.

2. The woman who visited Jo was wearing ___________.

3. Although Mr. George has a sample of handwriting sought by Smallweed, ___________.

4. Richard decides to be a lawyer because ___________.

5. Guppy reveals that Nemo's last name, and perhaps Esther's, may be ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss Krook's Rag and Bottle Shop? Is he a good businessman? Is there anything symbolic about the shop?

2. Explain Vholes' philosophy about the English legal system? Is it moral?

3. It seems curious that Dickens' characters tend to go to certain places for no apparent reason, such as Jarndyce agreeing to visit Neckett's place. In any case, a curious theme that seems to resurface is the neglect of children. Discuss your ideas about why Dickens continues to bring up this theme.

4. Who is Volumnia Dedlock? Discuss her role and her physical appearance.

5. What is the significance of the "beadle" arriving at Nemo's death scene if any? What is the beadle?

6. What purpose does it serve having Lady Dedlock take a shine to the lovely new maid, Rosa?

7. What is discovered at Krook's that may change the course of the Jarndyce suit, and how does it affect the main characters?

8. With all of his physical and mental deficiencies, why would Grandfather Smallweed make the trip to George's shooting gallery?

9. Dickens brings poverty and wealth together to create intrigue in the story's plot. What is young Jo's involvement in the plot and why is he important?

10. Discuss Mr. Guppy's pursuit of Esther as he follows her around the city. How would this be viewed today?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The gap between the rich and poor seems extremely wide in Bleak House. Write an essay, using the story and its characters, that compares and contrasts the poorest with the wealthiest. Also, try to determine where Dickens' sympathy lay when he wrote Bleak House.

Essay Topic 2

A "beadle" was something of a cross between a police officer and church official. Research the role of beadles in England in the 1800s. How did society view them at that time? It is helpful to re-read Chapter 11 of Bleak House about the beadle's arrival at Krook House at the time of Nemo's death.

Essay Topic 3

Dickens describes Tulkinghorn's funeral as having many empty carriages for absent mourners. Research this practice and write an essay on its origins, its meaning, and its demise.

(see the answer keys)

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